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Fighting the tears as Salerie Inn closes

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SALERIE INN licensee Annette Blows spent Saturday fighting back the tears as the laughter died in one of Guernsey's oldest pubs.

SALERIE INN licensee Annette Blows spent Saturday fighting back the tears as the laughter died in one of Guernsey's oldest pubs. With her husband, Iain, she closed the doors for the last time.

The pub's future remains unclear, but regulars were left despondent and wondering where to go next.

'I was in a daze all day, but all our friends, everyone, has come in to see us to wish us luck,' said Mrs Blows.

It was an emotional time, she added.

'But because we're going to Jersey, we know we're not so far away. I know I'm going to see people and a lot of our customers will make an effort to come and see us - it does not seem like a nail in the coffin for us, but it does for the pub.'

Customers had been very careful what they said in case she burst into tears, said Mrs Blows.

'With a local pub, a little pub, it's very personal. You know your customers - they look after you and you look after them. It's like a little community.'

She would like the site to continue being a bar.

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'It used to be a good pub crawl into Town. We were the last stop before you got there, but now it's a long walk,' she added.

The co-licensees spent five years at the Salerie.

It has had its ups and downs, she said, but most of all they remember the laughs.

'It's mostly been ups because we've had so many characters. I wish I could write a book.'

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Their cat, Tash, brought visitors from around the globe after it appeared in the Daily Mail because of its resemblance to Adolf Hitler.

'Australians have come over and we've had to bring the cat down so they could take a photo - unbelievable.'

People who have used the pub over the last decades were saying their goodbyes on Saturday night.

Sarita Keen, in her 30s, had been going to the Salerie for about 20 years.

'It's one of the few pubs that you can go into and feel comfortable. Walk in on your own and it's not a problem, or come in with a crowd,' she said. 'You wouldn't do that with any pub in Town.'

Ambulance practitioner Paul Phillips, 42, has been going to the Salerie for 20 years.

'I'm gutted - they shouldn't get rid of local pubs,' he said.

It was a nice place to stop on the way from the Bridge to Town, he added. 'I think the brewery believes there's more money if you develop them as offices. They are not worried about the local people who drink, they're more worried about profits.'

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